Auckland Startup Weekend winners named
An intense 54-hour weekend culminated on Sunday night with the winners named for Auckland’s sold-out Startup Weekend.
The weekend aims to inspire collaboration between entrepreneurs, designers and software developers. Participants pitch ideas on the Friday night, votes are taken and teams formed to work on these ideas over the weekend.
Events have been run in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and in 93 countries worldwide.
Judging the 12 teams at Startup Weekend Auckland were Candace Kinser - CEO of NZICT, Nick Gerritsen - Owner at Crispstart, Misti Landtroop - New Zealand Country General Manager of Pitney Bowes, and Brett Roberts - CEO of Wharf42.
Smile Today won first prize, composed of: a space on the ecentre sprint programme (valued at $4500), an MYOB startup services package (value $1000), a StartupPack of legal services from Lowdnes Jordan (valued at $2000) and a $500 cash prize on company formation.
Smile Today is a unique idea with a social entrepreneurship aspect, where you can donate to charity and receive a smile in return. The Massey University Audience Choice Award also went to the Smile Today team, who will take home a copy of serial entrepreneur and guru Steve Blank’s The Startup Owner's Manual.
The Catapult Prize was won by Herepin with their business that links people to community information and offers in real time. This prize includes airfares, accommodation and a desk at the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco for one person for four weeks.
This was awarded to the team with the venture that is the most scalable in US market, and can make good use of the resources available at the Kiwi Landing Pad. Herepin alsoy receives a place on the ecentreSprint programme valued at $4500.
Second prize was awarded to Jump On Board, with their idea of creating a way for travellers to access local knowledge when travelling to unfamiliar places. This is a $250 cash prize on company formation, a copy of Blank's The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, and The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.
Honourable mentions went to Startup Platform and Roomie Finder. Startup Platform’s idea enables attendees to start-up events able to interact with each other on a social platform. Roomie Finder is a great way to find the perfect flatmate via facebook networks.
Startup Weekend is a non-profit organisation supported internationally by the Kauffman Foundation. Local sponsors for this event include MYOB, Microsoft NZ, Lowndes Jordan, Massey University, the ecentre, Coffee Supreme, Unified Inbox, iWantmyName and Pita Pit .
The volunteer organisers of the Auckland event have given up their time to support entrepreneurship at a grassroots level and build the New Zealand startup ecosystem.
Startup Weekend facilitator Dave Moskovitz was impressed with the high quality of ventures at this year’s event, saying “the quality of the ventures emerging from Startup Weekends just keeps getting better and better".
"In addition to helping the ventures, these events help build up local entrepreneurial ecosystems. The people you meet at Startup Weekend may be your next co-founders, contractors, suppliers, clients or investors.
"There’s no better way to get to know how people really work under pressure than Startup Weekend.”
Startup Weekend NZ co-ordinator Alan Froggatt hopes to see some of this weekend’s attendees head to the upcoming Startup Weekend Wellington on July 27-29 (wellington.startupweekend.org), Palmerston North on August 24-26 (palmynorth.startupweekend.org) or Tauranga September 14-16 (tauranga.startupweekend.org).